Premier League first round: Manchester United look to make blistering start ahead of rivals City

By Oddsshark: Wednesday, August 1st 2018 at 21:37 GMT +3 | Football

Pep Guardiola broke records with his side last season: old foe Jose Mourinho is now playing catch up

The waiting is almost over. In exactly a fortnight’s time the new FA Premier League season will kick off, and after a busy summer transfer window from several clubs the action promises to be mouth watering to say the least.

Last season, Manchester City had it pretty much all their own way from August onwards. But with their rivals strengthening their squads in key areas this upcoming campaign could prove to be very different.

First things first

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The very first match of the season sees Manchester United host Leicester City at Old Trafford on 10 August. Jose Mourinho’s side finished second last term but were still a massive 19 points behind City, and will be looking to show that they mean business this term.

United are the red hot favourites to take the points at a price of just 1.44, with Leicester at the much higher price of 7.50 to snatch an away win. A 2-0 win for the home side is priced at 7.00, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$35 pay out, according to the Oddsshark site.

On 11 August, one match certainly worth keeping an eye on looks to be Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur. Newcastle fans look to be close to mutiny after a summer of close to no transfer activity, while Tottenham have also been quiet when it comes to player acquisitions.

Tottenham of course will be moving into their new stadium, but a lack of investment in the squad could lead to stagnation on the field. Spurs finished third last season, but only two points ahead of Liverpool in fourth who have brought in the likes of Alisson, Neby Keita and Fabinho.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez performed miracles to lead Newcastle to a top half finish last term, but would appear to be at loggerheads with club owner Mike Ashley yet again. The atmosphere at St. James’ Park on the opening day could be poisonous.

That may well contribute to the fact that Tottenham come into this game as the favourites to take the points. You could potentially double your money by backing Spurs to win away from home at 2.00.

Despite being on their own patch, Newcastle are further out, at 3.60, to make a winning start to the campaign, with a draw priced slightly lower at 3.50. Given the fact both sides tend to make slow starts to the season, a draw may be the safest bet in this instance, with a 1-1 draw priced at 7.00.

But the biggest game of the opening weekend will come from the Emirates Stadium on 12 August, with Arsenal hosting defending champions Manchester City. Unai Emery will be taking charge of his first league game as Arsenal boss, and his immediate challenge will be to return Arsenal to the top four and the UEFA Champions League.

You can triple your money by backing Arsenal to finish in the top four at a price of 3.00, but Emery’s first taste of Premier League football could be chastening. Under Guardiola, City scored 106 goals and collected 100 points last season and, at just 1.66, are the clear favourites to retain their Premier League crown.

They also come into this game against Arsenal as the favourites to take all three points. You can double your money by backing City at 2.00 to pick up the win.

Arsenal, by way of comparison, are at 3.50 to make a winning start to the season, with a stalemate priced at 3.60. Given that this is the first game of the season and neither team has really shown how they are likely to shape up beyond a few friendly games, you may feel it is a safer bet opting for the “Double Chance” option, which allows you to pick two possible outcomes for the match rather than just one.

The odds are of course shorter, but you can back an Arsenal win or a draw at 1.83.A City win or a draw is at 1.30, while you can back either side to pick up three points at just 1.29.

Premier League Round 1 fixtures

Friday, 10 August

(1.44) Manchester United x Leicester City (7.50); draw (4.50)

Saturday, 11 August

(3.40) Newcastle United x Tottenham Hotspur (2.10); draw (3.40)

(2.00) Bournemouth x Cardiff City (3.60); draw (3.50)

(2.30) Fulham x Crystal Palace (3.10); draw (3.30)

(6.00) Huddersfield Town x Chelsea (1.53); draw (4.00)

 (2.20) Watford x Brighton (3.30); draw (3.25)

(2.25) Wolverhampton Wanderers x Everton (3.20); draw (3.30)

Sunday, 12 August

(1.28) Liverpool x West Ham United (11.00); draw (5.00)

(1.90) Southampton x Burnley (4.00); draw (3.40)

(3.50) Arsenal x Manchester City (2.00); draw (3.60)